Prescription drug misuse: Is technology friend or foe?
Article first published online: 16 JAN 2009
© 2009 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs
Drug and Alcohol Review
Volume 28, Issue 1, pages 81–86, January 2009
How to Cite
NIELSEN, S. and BARRATT, M. J. (2009), Prescription drug misuse: Is technology friend or foe?. Drug and Alcohol Review, 28: 81–86. doi: 10.1111/j.1465-3362.2008.00004.x
- Issue published online: 16 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 16 JAN 2009
- Received 5 February 2008; accepted for publication 10 August 2008.
- prescription drug misuse;
- drug trend monitoring;
- online discussion groups;
- online pharmacies;
- electronic prescription monitoring;
Introduction and Aims. Prescription drug misuse and related harms have been increasing considerably over the past decade. At the same time, there has also been rapid growth in the use of online and Internet technologies. Thus, it is important that we understand the role online and Internet technologies play in prescription drug misuse. Design and Methods. Published work addressing the role of technology in prescription drug misuse is explored. Topics include: Internet supply, online monitoring of prescription drug use trends and electronic prescription monitoring. Results. Little is known about the prevalence of acquiring prescription drugs from online pharmacies. Prescription drugs are easily accessible through vendor websites, and ‘rogue’ no-prescription websites have proven difficult to control. There has so far been limited application of real-time monitoring to prevent overuse of prescription medications. Online monitoring of drug use trends may also prove to be a useful and timely source of information about new methods of ‘off-label’ prescription drug use. Discussion and Conclusions. Technology has the potential to play a more prominent role in facilitating drug acquisition, while also enhancing the monitoring and prevention of prescription drug misuse. As technology becomes more ubiquitous in everyday life, the continued investigation of its relationship with prescription drug misuse becomes even more important.[Nielsen S, Barratt MJ. Prescription drug misuse: Is technology friend or foe? Drug Alcohol Rev 2009;28:81–86]